LIBYA: Evacuations from Misrata continue amid violence

13 April, 2011
 The mood in Benghazi remains defiant, despite little progress by the rebel fighters. Credit: IRIN/Kate Thomas
The mood in Benghazi remains defiant, despite little progress by the rebel fighters. Credit: IRIN/Kate Thomas

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) plans to evacuate up to 1,000 third-country nationals by ship from Misrata today. The ship picked up medical equipment, food and other supplies provided by aid groups in Benghazi yesterday for delivery to Misrata. According to the Libyan Red Crescent, 6,000 third-country nationals are still unable to leave Misrata due to lack of funding as well as continued hostilities between pro-Qaddafi and opposition forces.

“The situation on the ground is critical for a large number of people who immediately need food, clean water and emergency medical assistance,” said ERC Valerie Amos in a statement on 6 April 2011. She stressed the need for cessation of hostilities to allow humanitarian actors access to those trapped in Misrata.

As violent attacks continue for the fifth consecutive week, humanitarian actors are concerned about the killing of medical personnel and children due to indiscriminate shelling, sniper fire and intensified hostilities in both Misrata and Ajdabiya. UNICEF reported that at least 20 children have been killed and many more injured, and Human Rights Watch says that Government forces had been repeatedly targeting a medical clinic in Misrata since 23 March. The Arab Medical Union reported the deaths of two doctors and the kidnapping of four others since 21 February.

The Cluster approach for the coordination of humanitarian response has been activated for this crisis, covering Emergency Telecommunications, Food Security, Health, Logistics, Protection, Shelter/NFI and Water and Sanitation. Islamic Relief and WFP are coordinating a shipment of humanitarian supplies to Misrata, and International Medical Corps have delivered medical supplies to Misrata with a second shipment to come on 15 April 2011.

There is still limited access to major urban centres like Misrata and other large areas of Libya. According to the Financial Tracking Services, the $310 million Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis is currently only 39 per cent funded.

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